International Students Prepare to arrive

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Prepare to arrive

Pre-departure information

Explore everything you need to know about International university study with JCU's Pre-departure Guide for International Students. You'll have access to detailed information about life on each of the main JCU campuses, as well as guidance on the required steps for moving overseas.

Engage with the International Student Support Team and receive immediate answers to your questions by attending a live pre departure webinar. We'll work with you to ensure you have everything you need before you depart.

Pre-departure arrangements

Once you have confirmation of your acceptance to JCU, you will need to arrange an international student visa. Understand the requirements and additional rules about working in Australia while studying will assist you in preparing your living expenses budget and other arrangements.

It is a condition of your student via that your hold Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). You should have received details of this with your JCU Acceptance letter. Ensure you have finalised this before arriving in Australia.

Consider the different accommodation options available at your chosen campus. There are benefits to both on- and off-campus living. Explore available places and lock-in your stay as soon as possible to receive your preferred choice.

Set yourself up for success by understanding the living costs and other expenses you will face, including food, power bills, phone/internet, transport and entertainment. Use the Study Australia website and Insider Guides Cost of Living Calculator sites to help estimate your cost of living in Australia and build a realistic budget for the duration of your studies.

You should also consider opening a bank account before you arrive. This ensures that you will have immediate access to your funds and can handle any last minute expenses during your travel or upon arrival in Australia.

Funding your studies

Studying at university is an investment in your future. Ensure that you are fully prepared for your arrival by understanding all the associated costs of international study. A well-planned budget enables you to focus wholly on your studies and enjoy a stress-free experience.

Tuition fee information is provided in the individual course page for each program of study. Please select the 'international' tab to view international fees.

Browse courses here.

Incidental fees are compulsory purchases at an additional cost which are not covered by your tuition fees.

These will vary depending on your degree, but often include:

  • purchase items, like uniforms or safety equipment
  • participate in course related activities.

For course-specific information, visit the detailed Incidental and Administration Fees page.

This is an Australian Government fee charged to all students at Australian universities. The funds are used to provide a range of student support services and facilities both on- and off-campus. page.

To find the specific rate for your period of study, and for more information, visit the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee) page.

All international students are required to take out health cover for the duration of their stay. You should have received details of this with your acceptance letter. For additional information visit Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Your cost of studying in Australia includes:

  • The cost of living in Australia varies depending on your lifestyle and personal requirements. Townsville and Cairns are regional cities, which generally have a more affordable cost of living when compared to large cities.
  • Tuition fees for your program of study, as well as textbooks and other equipment Overseas Student Health Cover for the duration of your student visa
  • Flights for travel between your home country and Australia, plus travel insurance
  • Accommodation, transport, groceries, and other day to day expenses

The cost of living in Australia varies depending on your lifestyle and personal requirements. Townsville and Cairns are regional cities, which generally have a more affordable cost of living when compared to large cities.

The information is based on 2023 costs and is provided as an estimate only.

  • Groceries / meals: $140 to $280 per week
  • Gas, electricity: $10 to $20 per week
  • Phone and Internet: $15 to $30 per week
  • Public transport: $40 to $160 per week
  • Car running costs: $150 to $260 per week
  • Entertainment: $80 to $150 per week
  • On-campus accommodation: $194 to $507 per week
  • Off-campus accommodation: $160 to $440 per week
  • Homestay: $220 - $360 per week

Some examples of daily expenses:

  • Fast food meal: $13
  • Restaurant meal: $25
  • Coffee: $5
  • Student Movie ticket: $16
  • Weekly gym membership: $12

Organise your arrival

Confirming your travel details in advance will ensure that your arrival in Australia is smooth and stress-free.

Book your flight as early as possible to ensure you will arrive at JCU in time to attend the compulsory International Student Orientation.

Deciding what to pack and bring with you is an important part of the planning process. Your list will depend on where and what you are studying at JCU. While you will be able to find most things you need once you arrive, it is important to ensure that you don't leave any necessary items behind in your home country.

The Studying in Australia guide provides details on Australia's biosecurity requirements and lists products that cannot be brought into the country. You will also benefit from some tips to ease the border clearance process.

JCU offers free airport transfers from the airport to your accommodation in Cairns or Townsville upon your arrival. If you would like to arrange this, you can book an arrival service here.

Additional information

If you are considering working while studying, you can read the tailored information provided by JCU Careers and Employment. Discover available jobs, view sample resumes and view upcoming workshops focused on enabling you to find employment.

If you are bringing your family to Australia, explore information about childcare and schooling. Support your whole family's transition to Australia and prepare your loved ones for this new and exciting experience.

You may also wish to download and activate the Sonder app. This multilingual safety and wellbeing app connects students with a support team that is available any time of the day or night. You'll be equipped to navigate a variety of unexpected situations and benefit from the assurance that someone is always there to help.

Need assistance?

Access student support

The help doesn't end when you arrive. Explore the range of International Student-focused services available at JCU. Once you're on campus, the Student Centre can assist you with navigating life at an Australian university. From subject choices to exams and even directions, we've got you covered.